There's trouble aplenty in modern day Stratford-Upon-Avon, where the garden gnomes of two warring neighbors are feuding it out in their backyards. Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith) and her blue gnomes simply detest Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine) and his reds. It's a mutual condemnation society that spurs competitive lawnmower races, petty vandalism and, of course, the garden-crossed love of Bluebury's son Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Redbrick's Juliet (Emily Blunt), who spend most of the film weighing their allegiance to the cause against their feelings for each other. Similarities to the fate of their namesakes stop about there, although the film is awash with references to the play (Tybalt, Paris and a renamed Friar Laurence figure make appearances) and the Bard (including a talking statue of Billy Shakespeare himself). The film's also bloated with more jarring allusions. The soundtrack features new and old Elton John songs; there are cameos by Ozzy Osbourne, Hulk Hogan and Dolly Parton; and worst (best) of all, there are significant portions of cribbed dialogue (listen for nods to Forrest Gump
and Brokeback Mountain
). The result is a swift hour and a half that is somehow both too formulaic and too absurd to garner much reaction. It may not be offensively bad, but is probably offensively lazy. See it in 3-D in select locations.